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COMMUNITY PUNDITS
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Rooster Coburn 02:31 PM on 01/17/2011
If there had been one or preferably two openly carrying constituents present at Congresswoman Giffords "Congress On Your Corner" event Jared Loughner would have faced an unexpected dilemma. "Do I take out the Congresswoman first and then get shot by a citizen or do I try to take out the armed citizen(s) first and then the Congresswoman and then hose down the crowd?" Hopefully, the voices in his head would  Read More...
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
americancolonyinhell
05:06 PM on 01/16/2011
To the extent the guns are used to settle grievances in office towers, post offices, fast food restaurants, and, among other places, at political gatherings, they should be banned. It's a great national shame that we've done very little to stem these abhorrent crimes.
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rikilii
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
07:46 AM on 01/17/2011
They are already banned "to the extent" they are used for those things, because it's illegal to do those things.
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montestruc
War is the health of the state--Randolph Bourne
08:58 PM on 01/17/2011
Well since it is individual persons who do so, not guns, your point is not well thought out.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
zanderofnola
04:04 PM on 01/16/2011
Assault weapons are already banned under the NFA and have been since 1933. Semi-auto weapons are not assault weapons because they can only fire one shot per pull of the trigger. In order to be an assault weapon one would have to be able to select between semi-auto and full auto or burst. Any weapon capable of firing more then one shot per trigger pull was banned in 1933.
04:52 PM on 01/16/2011
Many types of semi-automatic firearms are correctly referred to as "assault weapons". "Assault rifles", on the other hand are, fully automatic. There are numerous obsessives on these threads who will confirm that nomenclature. Perhaps, amongst you, we could be provided with information that could shed light on their respective lethality. One seems really dangerous, while the other one actually is. Which is which?
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04:58 PM on 01/16/2011
You hit the nail on the head.
I had to do some extensive research on weapons while I was buying replacement parts for my brother in Iraq and it's amazing how may weapons are mislabeled and fraudulently sold for profit or flat ignorance.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
oldngrumpy
My micro-bio is no longer empty
05:03 PM on 01/16/2011
Given that the term "assault weapon" was applied to any weapon that was cosmetically intimidating and had no correlation with usability, it's not difficult to see where gun owners are coming from when they resist "all" efforts to control guns. There is a trust factor that has to be established to enlist common sense co-operation and attempts at reinstating a meaningless, feel good bill will do nothing but destroy that trust.

Once the manipulation of statistics and hyperbolic rhetoric are pushed into the background of the debate I believe we can find common purpose with the opposition and make headway toward reducing death and injury from firearms. I don't know of any sane gun owner that wants more disasters like Tucson.
05:28 PM on 01/16/2011
The StG 44 (Sturmgewehr 44 or "storm rifle model 1944") is considered the 1st assault rife, because it was a fully automatic, or semi automatic rifle. Prior to the StG 44 small hand held automatic weapons where considered sub-machine guns, or machine pistols, because they used pistol ammunition and had a short effective range. The Tommy Gun a sub-machine gun became a favorite of gangsters during 1930's, although many like Bonnie and Clyd favored the B.A.R. or Browning Automatic Rifle, which in many ways is the grand father of the assault rife. I think both the B.A.R. and Tommy guns where out lawed into the 1930's. The difference between a semi-auto and fully automatic weapon in military use is the flick of a switch, the rate fire is higher on fulling auto, but the weapon tends to elevate due to recoil and become less and less accurate, a skilled shooter can empty a 30 round mag in less than 10 sec. and be very accurate doing it. To imply that an assault weapon isn't really an assault weapon because of semi-auto operation is bogus, semi autos are identical in every way to there bi-function military counterparts and can be just as deadly in skilled hands.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
oldngrumpy
My micro-bio is no longer empty
06:02 PM on 01/16/2011
Would you consider the Ruger "ranch rifle" to be an assault weapon? It fires the same ammo as the Colt AR15 and is semi auto. It has been around for decades and farmers and ranchers everywhere have one hanging in the rear window of their pickups.
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Robearbeach
Anthropological Linguist-Native American Languages
01:28 PM on 01/17/2011
You are correct on many fronts. But you refer to "skilled hands" and "skilled shooter." The premise of many of these posts is that regular citizens are so unskilled that they should not be allowed to carry weapons because. As one who has actually been in the difficult situation of defending myself with a Sig. .45 against two armed individuals in a horrible, chaotic situation and going home alive, I believe that minimal training is adequate to perform well. I won't define minimal but, at the risk of infuriating my pro-gun friends (with whom I agree on 99% of their views), I believe that it is unwise (and may create liability) to own and/or carry a gun for defense unless you practice/train regularly. You have to take hunter safety to get a hunting license, you have to take driver's ed to get a drivers license. I don't think training should be imposed by the government but it is foolish not to obtain it and to practice. You can't just buy a gun, put it in a drawer and use it effectively for the first time during a home invasion. Ironically, now that I teach handgun safety, I find that most women are more interested in learning and practicing than many men (but I digress).
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
cyrano1
03:54 PM on 01/16/2011
Meacham is sane. Meacham is right, and Meacham is outnumbered by the majority of us uninformed, misinformed voters, and his long history in supporting 2nd amendment rights along with his rational arguments will be completely discredited by the GOP and NRA. The mere fact that he has a show on PBS is their proof.
04:34 PM on 01/16/2011
Yep, fanned.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
cyrano1
04:39 PM on 01/16/2011
Backatcha! :)
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Handyman2
I liked Ike.
05:18 PM on 01/16/2011
Does any sane person truly believe that the founding fathers, who lived in an era of single shot muzzle loaded rifles and highly inaccurate single shot pistols had any remote idea that something as lethal as a 9mm semi-automatic pistol capable of holding 33 rounds would be the type of arms John Q. Citizen could bear? Following the NRA logic, why end at assault weapons, why not mortars, machine guns, etc. etc. even tanks?

Common sense has to come into play sometime.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
oldngrumpy
My micro-bio is no longer empty
05:29 PM on 01/16/2011
why end at assault weapons, why not mortars, machine guns, etc. etc. even tanks?

Common sense has to come into play sometime.

How many of you are in there? How can you make a hyperbolic, straw man statement like that and then call for common sense in the next sentence?
06:16 PM on 01/16/2011
Yes, I believe that with all of my heart. The general population was meant to be able to match the firepower of the Army. The 2nd Amendment is based solely on that fact. Without it, the 2nd Amendment is useless.
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Julio Melendez Sr
boricua51
03:53 PM on 01/16/2011
I may thoughts on this subject is Mr.Meacham has point no reason for extended clips. As for the kid Yes, the kid if he has mental disorders then it was missed buy a bunch of people early Somehow he made it thru High School and then on to college I believe we really don't know anything yet. The right to bear arms NRA wants you to believe that the government wants your guns I say if they really wanted too they would have gotten them along time go. For those who think they need the fire power to go up against Gov I have news for you, you will never get close..... That's totally BS this is not some third world country where you can overtake the Gov. Lets remember one thing we live in the best country in the world and that means we are going have these kinds of issues... Just look at the history of killers !!!!!!!!!!!
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
oldngrumpy
My micro-bio is no longer empty
04:10 PM on 01/16/2011
The security against tyranny offered by the second amendment doesn't come from our ability to conquer the US army with our firepower. It comes from creating a necessity to use deadly force to effect compliance. When the conflict is guaranteed to escalate to deadly force it becomes very difficult to manage the military rank and file who you must ask to fire upon their friends, neighbors, and perhaps even family. That theory is also carried into the ban on US military actions against citizens on US soil and the reliance upon a National Guard under state control. It is what has made us the longest lasting democracy in history.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
enlightened45
04:20 PM on 01/16/2011
In your litany you seem to have overlooked one disconcerting fact that completely undermines your basic premise....The Civil War.....
06:18 PM on 01/16/2011
I hate to tell you this, but what you just said is entirely too rational to seep into the brains of the people on this site.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
oldngrumpy
My micro-bio is no longer empty
03:44 PM on 01/16/2011
Fellow liberals! Cmon! You're skrooing us here!

The "assault weapons ban" was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever devised. It was a "feel good" effort that accomplished almost nothing. There were some common sense details buried in the bill, but they were mostly accidental. Among those was the ban on large capacity magazines. Getting the bill revived in it's totality isn't going to happen, so we lose the capacity issue as well.

By perpetrating such an obvious gun grab on the country to simply alter the cosmetics of an object you guaranteed it's overturn. Those who have no knowledge of guns and self defense should be the last to have input into any gun control legislation, but you plowed ahead anyway, threatening representatives with their jobs if they didn't comply with meaningless measures.

This could be an opportunity to join with gun owners and forge some meaningful change. The only way that is going to happen tho is if you learn not to wet yourselves at the mere sight of a gun and own up to two facts. 1) Your end game is the complete elimination of guns and the second amendment in America, and 2) that it is unrealistic and likely unwise. Somewhere after recognizing one has a problem the progress can begin, and it won't be any different this time. Somewhere between banning extended forefingers while yelling "bang" and arming small children to assure their safety at daycare is the answer to our dilemma.
04:07 PM on 01/16/2011
Not many Liberals that I know are looking for the complete elimination of guns, so you're off to a false start. The fact that you say it's unrealistic and unwise implies that you've given up on anything 'meaningful' so forget your 'opportunity to join gun owners', it ain't gonna happen, you don't stand a chance.

Many Liberals do believe that there needs to be strict Federally mandated rules, overriding State's rules on the sale of guns in an open market. Also, everyone that purchases a firearm needs to register the weapon, take a certification class, and get special permission to open, or conceal carry. That permission can be given after weapons certification, performance evaluation, and background checks. Good luck with your plan.
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JimInHouston
Arma virumque cano...
04:23 PM on 01/16/2011
"
Many Liberals do believe that there needs to be strict Federally mandated rules, overriding State's rules on the sale of guns in an open market. Also, everyone that purchases a firearm needs to register the weapon, take a certificat­ion class, and get special permission to open, or conceal carry. That permission can be given after weapons certificat­ion, performanc­e evaluation­, and background checks. Good luck with your plan. "

Yep, you belief in more and more infringement. The courts are against you and the general public is against you. Go ahead and push the issue...we will all remember in the next elections.
08:58 PM on 01/17/2011
BobSacomano,

F & F

Did Kramer ever go hunting?
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JimInHouston
Arma virumque cano...
04:21 PM on 01/16/2011
"Fellow liberals! Cmon! You're skrooing us here!"

Try to talk some sense into your buddies here, because if they have their way, November 2012 will be an apocalypse for them (fine by me, BTW).
04:37 PM on 01/16/2011
You are very funny. 2012 is looking better for Obama every week.

Looking forward to the Palin/Obama debates!
standish
You're gonna need a bigger boat.
04:51 PM on 01/16/2011
What's the matter, JIminHouston, did they ban you from Politico?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Barringtonmorr
Democracy: Where any two |diots outvote a genius
03:40 PM on 01/16/2011
The only way to put a big dent in gun violence is to completely ban guns and pass strict legislature (like life in jail for a second violation) or become a society more sensitive (instead of desensitized) towards violence ... gun control will only put a small dent in deaths by guns. Since the right to bear arms is in the constitution we only have the option of fostering a responsible generation who takes any type of violence seriously
04:16 PM on 01/16/2011
No, you can have Federal control over all gun sales. Right now, in some States you can just walk in, put down the cash, and walk out armed - especially at gun shows. That's how most criminals get their weapons, from those purchases. You can also tighten up requirements for ownership, require strict background checks nationally, require certification nationally, and require special licensed permits to any qualified person that needs to carry.
04:18 PM on 01/16/2011
and "...the option of fostering a responsible generation who takes any type of violence seriously...?

LOL, sorry, there's no way that's gonna happen.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Barringtonmorr
Democracy: Where any two |diots outvote a genius
04:38 PM on 01/16/2011
LOL i know ... i was dreaming big
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JoeTroll
Prove your own claims. I'm not your intern.
03:39 PM on 01/16/2011
The vast difference between "self-defense" and "counter-offense" is still ignored in this debate.
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LeFlaneur
does nuance.
07:26 PM on 01/16/2011
Your use of the term "debate" is gracious.
03:27 PM on 01/16/2011
Here, here, Sir. Agreed.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
fg159
03:25 PM on 01/16/2011
I continue to hear that gun ownership protects us from the government? If this is a reason to have a gun consider the following. Eventually everyone will be demanding the need to have their own nuclear weapon. If our government has them how can you be protected with a simple gun? I would suggest the Tea Party candidates negotiate a arms reduction treaty with the government now.
I understand if you wanted to hunt, or just have one to practice shooting at a range. To feel you need to be protected from the government is nuts.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
eljefefx
03:59 PM on 01/16/2011
Actually, nuclear weaponry is not covered under the 2A. It is not an "arm", but is in fact ordinance and ordinance and crew served weapons are either highly regulated or completely illegal for civilians to possess or attempt to posses.

Hyperbole serves no purpose, so next time please try not to utilize it.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
fg159
04:52 PM on 01/16/2011
You completely missed the point of the comment
04:58 PM on 01/16/2011
I'm surprised that a self-professed expert in matters of Constitution and weaponry would misspell "ordnance". Twice.
03:25 PM on 01/16/2011
Isn' it kind of hard to blame 29,000 plus de@ths a year from firearms on "just a few crazies"? We need more regulation than just some talk about how many people we can round up for government "evaluation".
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
enlightened45
03:31 PM on 01/16/2011
I love the irony of the gnuts arguing for the right to bear arms, regardless, but are proposing that anyone that doesn't quite fit an individual's idea of "normal" should be turned in for an involuntary mental illness evaluation and possible incarceration. The definition of individual freedom just got redefined to fit the gun proliferation ideological stance.
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eljefefx
04:00 PM on 01/16/2011
I have a favor to ask you, my friend. I have never and will never come up with clever names for those on the other side that I am debating. Could I ask you to do the same, in the spirit of maturity?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Barringtonmorr
Democracy: Where any two |diots outvote a genius
03:34 PM on 01/16/2011
How many of those 29k could have been stopped through mere regulation? I argue not enough ... its the culture of violence that has to change. We can pass all the regulation we want and homicides by gun probably will go down, but there will still be the black market and people who legally purchased guns to contend with
03:53 PM on 01/16/2011
Not talking 'mere' regulation, I'm talking Federal regulations to stop the open sale of guns to literally anyone that has a few bucks. Gun shows, and shops in many States are a freaking joke regarding sales to....just about anyone. Many crimes are from either stolen or illegally purchased weapons, and by illegally I mean some guy bringing in a trunk load from the next State where he simply paid the cash and drove off. We need strict national regulations, and I'm not talking about only cracking down on schizophrenics. We're WAY beyond a "well regulated militia" at this point.
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mikala
03:12 PM on 01/16/2011
Gun advocated like to use statistics like 87 million legal owners who have never commited a crime which is true. They also say only criminals misuse guns and they will always find a way to get them. That may be partially true but the shooter in Arizona was not a criminal until he pulled that trigger, neither was the VT killer or the Columbine killers and many of the others who have committed these kinds of atrocious crimes in this nation. This notion that the people of this Nation need guns to protect themselves from from their Government is just crazy and NO one can point to one instance where it was necessary to do so. Meacham's point is valid but nothing will happen due to groups like the NRA.
03:18 PM on 01/16/2011
the shooter in Arizona was not a criminal until he pulled that trigger,

I disagree, he was a criminal prior to obtaining a weapon.

protect themselves from from their Government is just crazy and NO one can point to one instance where it was necessary to do so.
Not in this country .... yet, but historically in many many countries, yes.after the country was disarmed, hence, the Second Amendment
03:24 PM on 01/16/2011
The 14th Amendment was specifically created to protect recently freed slaves from disarmament and subjugation of southern governments. There's one. Then there's the Tennessee Militia in 1946. There's two. http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/athens.htm
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02:56 PM on 01/16/2011
Meacham is a fake. No one who truly understands firearms would call a magazine a "clip." There is no such thing a clip for a Glock. The is no such thing as a 33 round clip for any firearm.

Aside from that, large capacity magazines are notoriously unreliable. The Arizona shooter's magazine jammed after 20 rounds. Out military limits magazine sizes for their assault weapons to 30 rounds for this reason.
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enlightened45
03:07 PM on 01/16/2011
Does a writer of an op ed column have to be intimately familiar with the mechanics of a nuclear weapon to argue against its proliferation.....
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03:09 PM on 01/16/2011
Meaham presented himself as a gun expert. He is not.
03:30 PM on 01/16/2011
Here come the hair-splitting technicalities of weapon design to try and totally dismiss the actual meaning of Meacham's remarks.
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BigBagel
03:08 PM on 01/16/2011
The Glock 19 is not an assault weapon. It's a handgun.
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03:21 PM on 01/16/2011
Your point being?

I was talking about magazines/clips for any firearm.
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LeFlaneur
does nuance.
02:41 PM on 01/16/2011
Does the second amendment guarantee any citizen to have any kind of weapon he wants any time he wants?

If not, then all we're doing is debating where to draw the line. Honestly why are the gun lovers freaking out so much? No one (of political consequence) is talking about banning all guns or even most guns. Some already are, so what's the freak out?
03:04 PM on 01/16/2011
why are the gun lovers freaking out so much?

Simple really

Politicians

How many of those OPTIONS in your car do you NEED.
You do want us to decide what YOU "need" too right?
Got any ice cream in your freezer?
Please justify why you "need" it, I'm drafting a bill.
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LeFlaneur
does nuance.
03:14 PM on 01/16/2011
Do you believe you have the right to own a B-2 Stealth bomber if you want one?

If not, then you are guilty of what you accuse me of.
03:16 PM on 01/16/2011
As far as I know every State in the union requires a driver's license to drive a car - not so with weapons. When cars start being sold as weapons and not a conveyance that is required to keep this country productive, when we stop legislating needed safety features on cars, and the car's additional "options" or our refrigerators start accounting for tens of thousands of de@ths in this country every year we can discuss further regulation on those items.
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03:06 PM on 01/16/2011
Obama voted to ban hundreds of rifles and shotguns commonly used for hunting and sport shooting, Illinois Senate, SB 1195, 3/13/03.

Obama endorsed a ban on all handguns, Independent Voters of Illinois/Independent Precinct Organization general candidate questionnaire, 9/9/96 Politico, 03/31/08

.Obama voted to allow the prosecution of people who use a firearm for self-defense in their homes, Illinois Senate, S.B. 2165, vote 20, 3/25/04.

Obama supported increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500 percent, Chicago Defender, 12/13/99 .

Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting, United States Senate, S. 397, vote 217, 7/29/05.

Obama opposes right-to-carry laws, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 4/2/08, Chicago Tribune, 9/15/04.
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LeFlaneur
does nuance.
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JoeTroll
Prove your own claims. I'm not your intern.
03:38 PM on 01/16/2011
Obama signed a bill into law that allows loaded guns to be carried into national parks.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/guns-national-parks-firearms-now-allowed-yellowstone-yosemite/story?id=9910171
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LeFlaneur
does nuance.
02:34 PM on 01/16/2011
BobSacomano I just fanned you. Reading that surreal exchange below made me clutch my forehead. Your point was valid.
03:07 PM on 01/16/2011
Giddyup.
02:18 PM on 01/16/2011
We have the right to defend ourselves and in this day and age, guns are the most efficient way to do that. This is a right that we have as human beings, not just as Americans. When you give up the right to defend yourself, you open up the door to losing a lot of your other rights. History has provided us with countless examples of tyrannical governments.
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MachCrit
A red guitar, three chords and the truth
02:57 PM on 01/16/2011
No one is advocating for removing your right to defend yourself. The "slippery slope" meme is hackneyed to absurdity, and the "tyranical goverment" won't be impressed with your assault weapon vis-a-vis their tanks and A-10's.
03:21 PM on 01/16/2011
removing your right to defend yourself.

Not removing it yet, just people want us to take a knife to a gun fight, where criminals "team" have better equipment, if this were baseball, they'd call it a "fixed" game.
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eljefefx
04:03 PM on 01/16/2011
It's worked out well for the Taliban and they don't have much more than small arms and two-man crew-served weapons.
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Ma Lucille
a crack ~ that's how the Light gets in
03:48 PM on 01/16/2011
and just how do you defend yourself against the tyranny of Wall Street and the industries they control or bio-terrorism with a gun?
06:31 PM on 01/16/2011
When it comes to Wall Street, take your money out of their banks and out of their investment funds.

What bio-terrorism are you talking about?
06:31 PM on 01/16/2011
Credit Unions Ma!